Kansas Supreme Court rules that passing Field Sobriety Tests doesn't matter!
On February 1st, 2013, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in the case of State v. Edgar . The court ruled that passing Field Sobriety Tests is only one factor that plays into whether or not someone should be arrested for DUI in Kansas.
In the case of State v. Edgar, Mr. Bruno Edgar was stopped at a driver's license roadblock. The officer noticed a really light smell of alcohol, and asked Mr. Edgar to get out of his vehicle and perform Field Sobriety Tests. Mr. Bruno complied, and completed the HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus), One Leg Stand, and the 9 Step Walk and Turn Test. Mr. Edgar passed all three of these tests in the officer's opinion, but the officer still had him do a breath test, and then arrested him after he failed the breath test.
So what does this mean, and why is it important? Basically it means that Field Sobriety Tests are only used to gather evidence to convict a driver, NOT to exonerate them. It also goes to show that officers are generally going to arrest you if they suspect any sort of impairment, light smell of alcohol, etc. Most people tell me, "Well I thought if I did good on the Field Sobriety Tests that the officer would let me go?" The answer to that is "NO". As I've said many times before on this blog, there is simply no reason to take field sobriety tests. This case just reaffirms that. See our blog article "Why to Refuse Field Sobriety Tests if you are pulled over for a DUI in Kansas?"